CHATHAM, NORTH CAROLINA – Today the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law filed more papers with a North Carolina court on behalf of the West Chatham Branch of the NAACP and Chatham for All, opposing the United Daughters of the Confederacy’s (UDC) lawsuit to stop Chatham County from removing the Confederate monument from the courthouse circle in Pittsboro. On Monday, the Lawyers’ Committee filed papers seeking to intervene and dismiss the lawsuit. The UDC’s preliminary injunction motion, which asks the Court to order the County to leave the monument where it is until the UDC lawsuit is resolved, will be heard this Friday, Nov. 8.
The lawsuit, brought by the United Daughters of the Confederacy and several individuals, asks the court to prevent the enforcement of the elected representatives of the community to remove the monument. Like hundreds of other monuments to the Confederacy, the UDC monument was installed at the end of Reconstruction to celebrate white supremacy and send a message to African Americans that they did not enjoy the equal protection of the law.
The Lawyers’ Committee represents organizations that spent years organizing to have the county government vote to remove the statue; the groups seek to enter the lawsuit to ensure that the voices of black residents of Chatham are heard.
“These monuments are a continuing affront to the dignity of African Americans and, just as they did when they were erected, send a message that African Americans are second-class citizens. The fact that this monument is located on court grounds makes the harm all the greater because by all appearances it is a message endorsed by the state,” said Jon M. Greenbaum, Chief Counsel and Senior Deputy Director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.
About the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, was formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to involve the private bar in providing legal services to address racial discrimination. Now in its 56th year, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law is continuing its quest to “Move America Toward Justice.” The principal mission of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law is to secure, through the rule of law, equal justice for all, particularly in the areas of criminal justice, fair housing and community development, economic justice, educational opportunities, and voting rights.